Full Time 1yr
This course is aimed at graduates who are looking to pursue careers in investment analysis, stock broking, securities trading, fund management, banking and investment banking in financial institutions. It is also suitable for those who are aiming for careers in corporate financial management in large non-financial companies. The curriculum covers the three key areas of finance: investments, corporate finance, and financial markets and institutions, with a focus on financial investments.
Students are taught by academically qualified and enthusiastic staff with research and consultancy experience and links to industry. Access to extensive financial databases including Bloomberg, DataStream and Bank Scope is available along with excellent library facilities and with 24-hour internet access to leading databases.
On successful completion of your Bloomberg training you will be awarded the Bloomberg Certificate, an essential qualification for all city professionals.
Our graduates have gained employment in a wide range of roles and industrial sectors. These include investment analysis, banking and investment banking in financial institutions as well as in accountancy and general management.
The University of Portsmouth is recognised as a centre of excellence for finance teaching by the Chartered Institute for Securities and Investment (CISI). You will be eligible for student membership and this provides access to a range of networking and career opportunities. During the programme you will be prepared for CISI's Integrity Matters and Corporate Finance Technical Foundation examinations. Successfully completing these examinations allows you to achieve an industry-recognised professional qualification alongside your degree.
I learnt and developed a lot of new skills during my MSc, for example, team work, communication, and organisational, analytical, and problem-solving skills.
Catherine Wan, MSc Finance student
Econometrics is a core tool used in the study of finance. The aim of this unit is to give you a strong practical understanding of the econometric tools you will be using throughout your study of finance. The teaching philosophy is to take an applied approach, to provide you with a strong intuitive understanding of the most important statistical techniques, and how to apply them successfully to a wide variety of practical situations in finance using the main statistical packages, such as Eviews and SPSS. Your work in this unit is supported by lectures, tutorials and workshops. Many of the econometric techniques covered are used and applied in other units in the course, to help you gain a good practical understanding of how to apply them in the practice of financial management.
Derivatives: Options, Futures and Swaps Markets
In this unit you will study the main derivatives securities and markets, options, forwards, futures and swaps. The emphasis is on the study of derivatives pricing models and how these are applied in speculation, hedging, arbitrage and price discovery in financial investments as well as in the measurement and management of financial risks. In finance some models work better than others. The pricing models and techniques developed in derivatives work so well that all professionals working in derivatives markets use these models and techniques all the time, every day. In this unit you will acquire a high degree of theoretical understanding and practical competence in using and applying these techniques.
Corporate Finance and Business Valuation
In this unit you will study the primary financial decisions of the firm, working capital management, advanced capital budgeting techniques, the strategic analysis of capital investment decisions, capital structure theories, and the financing and dividend decisions. Theories will be appraised in the context of empirical research to facilitate critical understanding of the issues. In the second half of this unit you will move on to the advanced study of business valuation. The main focus is on providing a strong practical understanding, and on the application of the key professional techniques used in firm valuation, mergers and acquisitions, initial public offerings and private equity transactions.
Portfolio Theory and Behavioural Finance
How does the stock market behave? Is it a rational processor of political, economic and financial information, like it says in the textbooks, or is it a madhouse, ruled by fear and greed? It is both. There is some truth in both of these different points of view. In the first half of this unit we look at stock markets and bond markets from the rational perspective. Here you will study the standard material of ‘modern portfolio theory’. In the second half of the unit we move on to behavioural finance, looking at the emotional, cognitive, institutional, and agency theory factors that impact upon financial markets. Topics include stock market booms and busts, financial crises, systematically irrational market behaviours, and the investment strategies that have been devised to exploit them. The unit has a strong practical philosophy. The theory, empirical research and analysis of real data that you will study are designed to help you to become a better investor.
Research Methods and Dissertation
This is a scheme of independent research. We offer comprehensive training through lectures and workshops throughout the year to develop skills commensurate with standards of good research practice. You will be assigned a Dissertation supervisor who will provide feedback, guidance and support on an individual basis.
We use the best and most current research and professional practice, alongside feedback from our students, to make sure course content is relevant to your future career or further studies.
Therefore, some course content may change over time to reflect changes in the discipline or industry and some optional units may not run every year. If a unit doesn’t run, we’ll let you know as soon as possible and help you choose an alternative unit.
Teaching methods include lectures, seminars, computer-based workshops, invited speakers and live case studies. Student participation is encouraged and classes are challenging but informal and friendly, which promotes discussion and debate. The course tutors are available to support your studies and you will also have a personal tutor to provide help and guidance for any problems that you might have.
You are assessed in a variety of ways to reflect the individual topics. Our approaches to learning, assessment and feedback are varied and constructive, to help you build the personal management and employability skills that are essential for a fulfilling career.
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In our Bloomberg Suite you will be able to access the same data, analytics and software used by city traders worldwide. Bloomberg terminals are used by financial professionals daily to make fast-paced investment, trading and financial decisions. This will allow you to monitor and analyse real-time financial market data movements and trade virtually.
We have invested heavily in open access computer suites across campus. Great working spaces with high-spec PCs (multimedia and CAD), Macs and printing facilities. More specialised software and equipment is also available, such as large format printing, audio-visual equipment and language laboratories. Should you need any assistance, there are specialist technicians on hand to support you in using the facilities.
For our international students we have a dedicated team of advisers to support you as you settle into life in Portsmouth and at the University. The role of the International Office is to provide you with extensive support to make your time here as stress-free and enjoyable as possible, enabling you to focus on your studies. One of the team almost certainly has direct experience of your culture and may even speak your language.
Modern, comfortable and a great learning environment, our library offers a wealth of information including 400,000 books, DVDs, maps and thousands of online ejournals and newspapers. Many electronic resources are available anywhere, 24/7 and our friendly staff are always on hand to help.
There may be extra costs arising from your studies which you will need to consider when planning your expenditure.
Some are common costs to all courses of study. These may include the cost of study texts, reference books, photocopying and computer supplies. Others relate to specific courses and may include field trips, materials and specialist equipment.
This course is designed to provide you with powerful analytical tools and methods to understand the complexities of modern financial markets. These skills are in high demand and you’ll be strongly placed to enter industry in the finance and industrial sectors. Previous graduates have gone on to secure roles in accountancy and general management as well as investment analysis, banking and investment banking in financial institutions. Alternatively, this course is also beneficial if you are aiming for careers in corporate financial management in large non-financial companies.
Roles our graduates have taken on include:
One of the benefits of studying at Portsmouth is the support that we provide to our Master's and Research Degree students in career planning. Our careers and recruitment service can assist you in career research and finding employment opportunities. Help is also available if you wish to find a part-time job while studying your degree.
We offer our postgraduate students and alumni one-to-one appointments with a careers adviser, or an online service for those not able to travel back to the University. Our alumni can call on our career services for five years after graduation.
In addition, regular employability events offer you the chance to meet employers, find out about different career sectors and improve your applications or CV. The Graduate Summer Programme provides a range of guidance and employability seminars and workshops.
Regardless of whether you are seeking to build on your studies, further your career or pursue a career change, a postgraduate qualification adds to your achievement record.
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